Cube 2: Hypercube

Cube 2Synopsis: There is more to fear than you can see.

Eight strangers wake up in a bizarre cube with no recollection of how they got there and no idea of how to get out. They soon discover that they’re in a deadly dimension where the laws of physics don’t apply and they must unravel the secrets of the “hypercube” in order to survive.

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Cube 2: Hypercube 7.75

eyelights: its new twist on the original concept.
eyesores: the weak performances. the cheap CGI.

“Each one of these rooms has six of these doors and portals, but no matter how many different doors and portals I go through I always end up in the same three rooms.”

I’m a big fan of ‘Cube‘. It’s not just a clever sci-fi suspense picture, it’s proof-positive that you can make a good film on no money when you have a good script. Sure, it suffered from a few weak performances, and the effects weren’t always great, but these can be forgiven in light of the budgetary limitations; the producers obviously could only afford so much.

‘Cube 2: Hypercube’ was released in 2002, five years after the original. Interestingly enough, it not only stars a different cast, it was written, directed and produced by an entirely different crew. I have no idea if the original filmmakers were even involved in its making in some way. How something like this can happen is beyond me, and it’s usually a bad omen.

Not so with ‘Cube 2’.

Granted, the current crew reek of straight-to-video and knock off sequels: writer Sean Hood is responsible for ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ and ‘The Crow: Wicked Prayer’, while producer Ernie Barbarash made movies like ‘The First 9 1/2 Weeks’ and ‘American Psycho II: All American Girl’. Even director Andrzej Sekuła, who’s worked with Quentin Tarantino, has some albatrosses.

But ‘Cube 2: Hypercube’ starts with the original concept of ‘Cube’ and takes it to a new, more abstract level, which provides a similar vibe, but altogether new thrills. It retains the base concept: a few people wake up in a cubic room with a trap door on each surface and must navigate their way from one cubic room to the next to get out, all the while avoid its many traps.

Except that the traps here aren’t deadly in the same fashion as the last one was. Instead, many of the rooms are actually perfectly safe; it’s just that something is going outside the rooms and some of the rooms behave strangely, in a quantum physics sort of way. These characters not only have to figure out why they are there, they also have to solve the cube’s secrets.

This ‘Cube’ is full of mysteries and revelation that are all revealed slowly as the film progresses. It keeps us gripped for the whole of its 90 minutes, despite the poor CGI effects on which it relies and the oft-lackluster cast, which over-emotes all too regularly. But it’s a competently-made picture and there is some rather nice camera work and editing to spruce it up.

I would absolutely recommend it to fans of the original (although I would advise them to adjust their expectations), and to science-fiction fans who like to be challenged – you know, people who like ‘The Twilight Zone’, ‘Primer’ and ‘π’. Fans of more action-oriented and/or special-effects driven sci-fi should steer clear; this is not what ‘Cube 2: Hyperdrive’ is about.

And that’s what makes it such a fascinating watch.

Date of viewing: May 11, 2015

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